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What Makes a Good Handshake?

The Public Speaker explains the body language involved in an effective handshake.

By
Lisa B. Marshall

What Makes a Good Handshake?

A good handshake begins with eye contact, a smile, and good posture. Long before you extend your hand, you should begin to make a connection, an emotional connection. If you are a regular listener of The Public Speaker podcast, you already know that eye contact, smiling, and good posture are three very powerful non-verbal behaviors that communicate confidence, trust, and sincerity. They make you more attractive, approachable, and memorable.

If you need to shake someone’s hand and you’re sitting, stand up; it’s a basic sign of respect. As you stand, quickly and discreetly make certain your hand is dry. (If necessary press it against your side).

Next, move toward the other party. The idea is to meet in the middle, ending with your left foot slightly forward. It’s like a right-handed batting stance; it’ll give you balance and leverage should you need it.

About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.

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